Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Move the Line!

Do you love the school drop-off line? Me neither. Do you wish you had a song you could sing about it? You do now...

Move the Line!
(^^^ click there!)

(by Julie Dunlap and the unbelievably talented Sara Stotts)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

She's still preoccupied with 1985

A few years ago, a band called Bowling for Soup came out with a song based on the life of a Gen-X mom called "1985." The song references almost everything I held near and dear from that year and that era... Bruce Springsteen, Madonna (way before Nirvana)... U2, Blondie, music still on MTV...

As much as this song packs into its three beautiful minutes, there is one piece for me, a Kansas City girl born and bred, that is missing:

The Kansas City Royals winning their first World Series.

A closet baseball geek, I don't have memories at any point in my entire life that don't include the dream of growing up to play the organ at Royals Stadium (later named Kauffman Stadium) and a massive crush on George Brett.

Every summer morning from the time I learned to read until the time I discovered boys (my own age... George is a wee bit too old for me), I scoured the sports section for the latest stats, scores and updates about my Royals, the Western Division and the American League.

I remember loathing Billy Martin's every tantrum and memorizing every starting lineup as the Royals climbed their way through the '70's, reaching the 1980 World Series only to fall to the Phillies.

I remember the thrill of our annual trek to the stadium to catch a game with the Colorado cousins (who texted from all over the western United States to congratulate us the past two weeks - - these memories are carved deeply into all our hearts).

And I remember sharing the excitement of the Pine Tar Incident with my BFF as we chatted on the phone while watching George charge towards Tim McClelland in protest.

(full disclosure... I attended a Yankees game at Yankee Stadium the year before it was torn down and found the experience nothing short of holy, but I will never, ever have anything nice to say about the Phillies. I don't care if they cure cancer and resurrect Michael Jackson. Never.)

Year after year, though, the Ultimate Magic happened somewhere else... until 1985, when a team made up of guys who refused to quit brought the magic to Kansas City.

And we were electrified.

We lived on that high for the eight years of post-season disappointment that followed until George Brett's retirement in 1993.

We hung onto that hope another 11 months until the strike of '94.

We rallied briefly amid steroid scandals and big money power plays that made the teams of Major League Baseball unrecognizable when our hometown hero was elected to the Hall of Fame and again when Kansas City hosted the All-Star Game, but for most of the last 20 years, Kansas Citians slowly evolved from beaming with pride to a sad, nostalgic longing, much like Debbie and her dashed Whitesnake dancing dreams from the song above.

Yes, our spirits were down... but our loyalty never faded.

You see, there is no such thing as a "former Royals fan." We are a devoted bunch who, even when kicked down to last place, will not jump on the bandwagon of anyone else's team because we are America's own Royal Family - no matter which ZIP code we claim - and Kansas City, the Royals and the joy the words "Play ball" brought every spring, no matter how dismal the outcome, were stronger than any season's record and would - as we see today - outlast any wait for another World Series.

And now this Gen-X mom, still preoccupied with 1985, is happy beyond measure that the wait is finally over and old enough now to know that, if we have to wait another 29 years before we find another team who refuses to quit, before the city will dust off its blue and pay an ungodly amount of money for tickets and smile and high-five strangers again, it will all be worth it.

Because this is the kind of joy the heart was made for.

Be Royal.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Aftershock: Where the food trucks rule and deodorant is completely optional

Because I am married to the most patient man in the world who gave more than anyone ever should during the run of Mother F*ing Hood earlier this month and last and really never asks for much in return, I agreed to go with him to Sacramento for Aftershock Monster Energy Rock Fest of Really REALLY Loud Music and LOTS of People.

I've never been in a place that held more tattoos than teeth; and I've never seen my husband so happy to bang his head to his favorite bands... Avenged Sevenfold, Papa Roach, Shinedown, Halestorm... to name a few.

And I got to attend another Steel Panther concert, this one in a small bar venue, really cool and fun to be close enough to feel the wind off Lexi's enviable mane.

We watched Five Finger Death Punch's lead singer reprimand a woman for flashing him her boobs during their show, telling her to "set a fucking example, there's kids here."

Example, indeed.

And I got to see first hand the havoc humidity can wreak upon a Mohawk:

But I wasn't going to let that fan's tragedy (or the horrific scene at the port-a-potty) ruin my weekend. Nope. For I found that any time away with my husband - even if it is spent packed like sardines waiting for another really REALLY loud band to play - makes for a perfect weekend. No matter what.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Oh, Erica

We were in Durango this summer. I was too busy actually enjoying my vacation to blog about it, but I was recently reminded of this story and wanted to write it down before I forget it like I have a million other things recently...

My older daughters and I were touring Durango with my uncle, Jim, and on our way home to meet the rest of my family and my aunt. Knowing happy hour was coming up soon, I asked Jim if we could stop at the liquor store on the way to their house for a little gluten-free beer for my husband.

(Car rides are MUCH more pleasant the less gluten he has... um... passing through his system)

Jim agreed and pulled into a gravel parking lot just off the main drag out of downtown to a small white shack. Paint peeling off the sides, heavy construction in the rest of the vacant lot and two signs - Beware of Dog & Crew Cut My Phone Line, No Credit Cards Today - told me all I needed to know before entering.

Erica stood at the register immediately to the right as I entered, talking on the phone and getting ready to ring up a ZZ Top impersonator. As I made my way to the back of the store to grab ice cold sorghum beer out of the fridge, I heard Erica explaining her case to customer service on the other end.

"It's fucking ridiculous," she eloquently replied. "I've been down all fucking day. My fucking customers don't all have cash, you know?"

Now I'm far from bothered by the f bomb. But she had no way of knowing that. And in my years of HR training, "Do not audibly or even in a visible lip-reading sort of way utter the F word" usually made the Top 10 of every How Not to Treat a Customer list I'd been given to study. But, with said dog of "Beware of" fame lurking nearby, I was not about to point that out to Erica.

So I grabbed my six-pack and dutifully made my way to the counter just as Erica hung up the phone.

"Sorry, crew cut my fucking phone line this morning," she said with the same enthusiasm one might tell a friend about an upcoming mammogram. "Fucking internet went down yesterday; couldn't even pay my fucking sales tax online."

She kind of smiled at the last part, so I did too as I asked, "Is this beer any good?"

Erica gave it a half glance before responding, "I don't know. I don't drink retard beer."

This was probably the opportunity for educating Erica that, while "fuck" will almost always fly in a liquor store, "retard" really won't.

But I didn't.

Caught so off guard, and slightly afraid she thought I lacked some sort of mental capacity, I decided to set the record straight.

"It's not for me, it's for my husband," I replied as I gently placed my husband under her bus.

"Oh," she said, startled, I assume, by my marriage to a presumed retard. "I'm sorry. People buy it. Must be okay. Your total comes to $10.50."

(gluten-free beer is not cheap)

I pulled a ten and a five out of my purse and handed it over. She gave me my change: two $2 bills and a Kennedy half dollar. I had not seen either of those things since Easter '85 when my grandparents dished out what I had previously assumed were the last two-dollar bills ever to be in circulation.

Confused by the whole experience, I thanked her for my perfectly normal, functional change and left.

The beer was terrible, but my time with Erica was priceless.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sold Out

Wanted tickets to see Mother F*ing Hood tonight? You're too f*ing late!

Fittingly, we are riding to the Arts Center in style... a 10-foot U-Haul ready to remove all set pieces and giant foam pill costumes from the building. Also? Alex (aka Mr Xanax) (aka Where Were You When We Were In College?) just called and needs a ride to the show. His cougar loves are picking him up soon from the Papa John's parking lot near his apartment. Perfect way to start the final night.


Friday, August 30, 2013


So it's been a big summer, a bigger month and an explosive week... all leading up to tonight. And tomorrow night. And next weekend too!

Before I head off to the Arts Center, though, I had to share a few behind-the-scenes sneak peeks. Be sure to make your way to 940 New Hampshire tonight to see this baby on stage. It will rock your freaking world!

Yes, in reality I probably am a 13-year-old boy who could not resist taking this photo:

Our choreographer, Christina Burton, worked miracles in just three little sessions:

From our first dress rehearsal finale:

Our updated logo (no f*ing symbols this time):

And, in spite of having left the paper 9 months earlier and finding every editor I worked with had left as well, the LJW did a great spread for us. It worked, too.... well over 1000 people will see this show!